How to Prevent Phishing Scams

A lot of phishing emails claim to come from legitimate sources or popular websites. The emails often ask the user to enter bank details or other personal information. There are also phishing scam websites which appear exactly like the original websites. Some of these fake websites are so well done that it’s quite impossible to tell them apart unless you look at the URL. Most of these fake websites redirect users to pages with spaces where they have to fill in essential financial information usually used to access bank accounts. Once the phishers get a hold of the information, they can carry out fraudulent monetary transactions. Sometimes, the website may ask the user to fill in personal details like social security number, driver’s license number, and other details which can be used to commit frauds in the user’s name.

While phishing techniques are getting more sophisticated, there are many things which can be done to avoid phishing. Here are some of the anti-phishing techniques.

Check the email Carefully

A phishing email may claim to be from a legitimate company and when you click the link to the website, it may look exactly like the real website. Sometimes, the link may lead you to the privacy policy of the legitimate company or some irrelevant pages. The email may ask you to fill in the information but the email may not contain your name. Most phishing emails will start with “Dear Customer” so you should be alert when you come across these emails. You should know that a legitimate company will not send spam emails. The email may contain the names of fictional personnel who supposedly work in the legitimate company. For instance, you may have received an email from Mr. Don Green who’s the Head of Human Resources at some big company telling you that you have won $3 million. If you want to find out if there’s really such a person working in such a company, you can contact the real company directly. Don’t call the number which is provided in the email. These emails may have an alert notice for a quick response but you must know that it’s just another ploy to get vital information.

Never Enter Financial or Personal Information

Most of the phishing emails will direct you to pages where entries for financial or personal information are required. An Internet user should never make confidential entries through the links provided in the emails.

Identify a Fake Phone Call

Phone phishing is the method in which a phone call is made to the user for the purpose of stealing personal information. For instance, the user may be asked to provide financial details for the refund of money to an account. The phone call may come from a number which appears legitimate but the area code in the phone call can be modified using VOIP technology.

Protection through Software

Anti-spyware and firewall settings should be used to prevent phishing attacks and users should update the programs regularly. Firewall protection prevents access to malicious files by blocking the attacks. Antivirus software scans every file which comes through the Internet to your computer. It helps to prevent damage to your system.

Never Send Personal Information through emails

Never send an email with sensitive information to anyone. Make it a habit to check the address of the website. A secure website always starts with “https”.

Check Bank Details Regularly

To prevent bank phishing and credit card phishing scams, you should personally check your statements regularly. Get monthly statements for your financial accounts and check each and every entry carefully to ensure no fraudulent transactions have been made without your knowledge.

Never Download Files from Unreliable Sources

If you get a message stating a certain website may contain malicious files, do not open the website. Web browsers provide settings to prevent access to malicious web pages and when you try to access a malicious site, an alert message will appear. Never download files from suspicious emails or websites. Even search engines may show certain links which may lead users to a phishing webpage which offers low cost products. If the user makes purchases at such a website, the credit card details will be accessed by the phishers.

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